Ritalin is a prescription medication used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as narcolepsy. It is typically used as a treatment option for children.
Ritalin is the brand name of the prescription drug methylphenidate, which acts as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. The effects of Ritalin have been compared to a cup of coffee or energy drink.
Some people diagnosed with ADD or ADHD have an excess of dopamine transporters in their brain, which results in low levels of dopamine. Ritalin works to block these transporters and stabilize dopamine levels.
Stimulant medications, like Ritalin, can help increase focus and reduce impulsive behaviors. Unfortunately, these are some of the reasons why the drug is commonly abused.
Ritalin is also known to produce feelings of euphoria, high energy, and serve as an appetite suppressant. For this reason, it is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance.
Average Cost Of Ritalin Sold On The Street
Street Ritalin Vs. Prescription Drug Cost
When Ritalin is sold at a pharmacy through a doctor’s prescription, it generally retails for $90 for a 100-day supply of 5 mg pills, $125 for a 100-day supply of 10 mg pills, or $190 for a 90-day supply of 20 mg pills.
These prices represent the retail cost without health insurance coverage or other discounts, which would lower the price. The retail price also depends on the pharmacy used.
Prescription Ritalin is available in 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, and 60 mg pills.
Compared to the price of Ritalin sold in pharmacies, the street value of a 100-day supply of 5 mg pills would be anywhere from $500 to $1,000, which is 5.5 to 11 times the retail value.
Factors That Drive The Street Price Of Ritalin
There are many factors that can determine the street price of Ritalin, which include location of the sale, the dose, and the level of risk.
Location Of The Sale
When purchased on the street, the cost of Ritalin may be higher in rural areas as opposed to bigger cities, which is typically the case with any illicit drug, prescription or otherwise.
In cities like New York or Los Angeles, there are more street dealers and a higher chance that these dealers sell Ritalin. In smaller areas, there are fewer dealers and, thus, availability is lower.
With a smaller supply of Ritalin in rural areas, the demand for the drug is more likely to surpass the supply, increasing the price.
As stated, the price of Ritalin on the street is typically $1 per milligram. So, a 5 mg pill would cost $5, a 10 mg pill would cost $10, and so on.
The higher the dose of the pill, the higher the price and, consequently, the more potent the effect.
Level Of Risk
Though Ritalin abuse, or taking Ritalin without a prescription or in a way other than as prescribed (e.g., snorting or doubling the dose), is illegal nationwide, each state has its own laws regulating the sale and use of drugs.
In New Jersey, for example, a person found in possession of Ritalin by law enforcement can face up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines, and that’s if they are found with up to four pills.
In Florida, if a person is found with traces of Ritalin without a valid prescription, they can face up to five years in prison, $5,000 in fines, and have their driver’s license suspended for two years.
In considering the differences in penalties between these two states alone, it can be assumed that the cost of street Ritalin would be higher in Florida than New Jersey, due to the increased risks.
Dangers Of Abusing Ritalin
Abusing Ritalin is dangerous for many reasons, including because the drug has serious side effects, which can be more or less pronounced depending on existing physical or mental health conditions.
Side effects of Ritalin use may include:
- loss of appetite
- muscle tightness
- nausea and/or vomiting
- uncontrolled movements
More severe effects of Ritalin use may include:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- irregular heartbeat
- rapid heart rate
- shortness of breath
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
- vision changes
When Ritalin is taken without a doctor’s prescription, the person is not being monitored in regard to the dosage and effects. They usually take a higher dose than would be recommended.
Because Ritalin is a CNS stimulant, it will often ramp up a person’s heart rate. Over time, this can lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular damage.
The development of a substance use disorder (SUD) is another risk involved with misuse and abuse of the drug.
People with SUDs have an increased risk of experiencing negative drug side effects, including more severe side effects, and also risk overdose, which can be fatal.
If you are abusing Ritalin and have experienced any of the severe symptoms mentioned above, seek medical advice immediately.
Why People Abuse Ritalin
People who abuse Ritalin do so to experience a high, feel a boost of energy, and/or for weight loss benefits.
Treatment Options For Stimulant Drug Addiction
Treatment for stimulant prescription drug abuse is available nationwide. Options for treatment include detox, inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs, sober living facilities, and support groups.
Treatment is also available to people without health insurance through community support programs, state-run rehab centers, and nonprofit organizations.
The treatment options you seek, and the degree of support you need, will depend on the length of your drug use, your daily dose, your withdrawal symptoms, and your current health condition.
Fortunately, there are thousands of healthcare providers who are qualified to provide you with a specialized treatment plan that’s catered to your needs.
Find Substance Abuse Treatment Today
If you or a loved one is experiencing drug or alcohol addiction, contact DetoxRehabs.net to get connected with a treatment center today.Article Sources
- MedlinePlus.gov – Methylphenidate
- U.S. Department Of Justice (DOJ) – Ritalin Fast Facts
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – Amphetamines